Williamsburg-James City County Schools began looking at building a 10th elementary school in 2018.
The School Board unanimously passed Superintendent Olwen Herron’s 2020-2029 Capital Improvement Plan at a work session on Dec. 11, which included building the new school.
The new elementary school would cost $38.5 million; buying land, if necessary, would be an additional expense.
Herron recommended building a new elementary school because of projected enrollment growth: elementary school enrollment is expected to be 5,507 students in 2028. Elementary school capacity is 5,470 students, so schools would be 37 students overcapacity.
The School Board discussed the capital plan with the James City County Board of Supervisors and Williamsburg City Council at a joint meeting Dec. 6. City and county representatives both expressed reservations about building a new school.
While the School Board approved the plan Tuesday, it doesn’t mean every item will be funded.
“(The School Board) makes a request and then (the localities) have to respond to that request,” said Kyra Cook, Williamsburg. “They may or may not fund our request, but that’s not abnormal. Sometimes we make a request several times before it gets funded, sometimes we make requests that never get funded and sometimes they push things up and fund them faster than we are asking for.”
The city and county will need to approve a CIPP budget by May 15, and the School Board must adopt it by May 21.
Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.